Monday, August 22, 2011

Mulgikapsad - Pork, Barley & Kraut Recipe

Mulgikapsad is a very popular dish all over Estonia. Kapsad means cabbage and Mulgi is the name of the Estonian province in which the dish originated. A delicious one-dish meal, it requires almost no preparation. Serves four.

2-1/2 lbs. lean fresh pork, in 1 piece
4-1/2 cups sauerkraut
3/4 cup uncooked barley
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Boiling water

V.S.P. Put meat in a heavy casserole. Cover meat with sauerkraut. Rinse barley in cold water and add to meat with bay leaf, salt and pepper. Be careful with salt, in case the sauerkraut is salty.

Pour in boiling water until barley is covered. Close lid tightly. Simmer over low heat until meat is tender, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Stir, adjust seasoning and serve.


  1. Hi,

    I saw this competition where they are looking for people that can cook the national dish of their country. I think this might be of interest to you since you already have made this recipe :)

    Read more about it on their facebook page:
    and in this presentation:

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks for bringing attention to mulgikapsad! The recipe is so easy, isn't it, and the results so delicious! I make it without meat because half of our family members are vegetarians. Tastes just as wonderful.

    I'd like to offer a little correction to your description of Mulgimaa: it is not an Estonian province. As an area it reaches across the provinces of Viljandimaa, Pärnumaa and Valgamaa. The residents of that vaguely indistinct area are called mulgid. (I think that Dixieland might be an apt comparison).

    Mulgid have certain colourful customs and iconic foods that are appreciated all over Estonia.